If there is one thing that Hollywood is looking for these days, it is a sure thing. As blockbuster-sized movies have all blown the budgets way out of proportion to even average revenues, Hollywood is looking to mitigate risk in all of its films. Given this, it is no wonder they are currently so hung-up on movies based on successful comic books and sequels. The last in this line – and arguably the one that requires the least amount of risk and work, but is simultaneously the most arduous task to do correctly – is the movie remake. Often, these films get mired in wave after wave of development ideas that do not end up seeing the light of day. The industry presently has an obsession with all things 80’s. Here are the films to be on the lookout for.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Ed Helms (The Hangover star) will be playing an all-grown-up version of Rusty Griswold in what’s being described as a ‘reboot’ of National Lampoon’s Vacation (even though it’s technically a sequel if Helms is playing Rusty and not a new version of Chevy Chase’s Clark). Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein wrote the script and are looking to make their directorial debuts with this film, set to be in production soon.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
The rights to perhaps the greatest werewolf movie of all time were bought from director John Landis by The Weinstein Company back in June 2009, with The Number 23 writer Fernley Phillips hired to give the classic tale a “modern spin.” This endeavor was probably brought on by a case of Twilight fever, which has since cooled down – which means there’s a good chance this will never see the light of day (or, rather, the light of the moon).
Kevin Smith was supposed to make a new Fletch with frequent collaborator Jason Lee in the role of the crack reporter/master of disguise originally incarnated by Chevy Chase. While with Jason Sudeikis currently slated to play the lead, this could indeed be a funny remake.
Escape From New York (1981)
This B-movie mini-classic followed the adventures of professional anti-hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) as he infiltrated the maximum-security prison that is in a future NYC, to rescue the President of the United States. Hollywood’s been trying to get this remake off the ground for years and everyone from Gerard Butler to Jason Stathom have been rumored for the role of Plissken (“Call me Snake …”). Speculation is that they may even attempt a trilogy out of it…
One of the best horror films of the 80s and one of the greatest haunted house movies of all time. The Sam Raimi produced remake is currently in production with a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris, Rosemary DeWitt and Jane Adams, with a release date at the start of, 2015.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Forget (or maybe just embrace) the fact that it’s kind of a shameless rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone is a rollicking good time, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner oozing hot chemistry as adventurer Jack Colton and romance writer Joan Wilder, respectively. There have been a lot of people tied to the project including Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler as leading potentials, yet nothing is confirmed at this time. Currently listed on IMDb as “in-production.”
It’s a classic for all the wrong reasons, but Scarface remains one of the most groundbreaking crime dramas of all time, a grand opera of excess from director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino. While at face value this sounds like it may be a terrible idea, speculation that it might be adapted to fit the world of modern Mexican drug cartels has the potential to give this a relevancy even the original couldn’t muster. Still, it’s hard to beat an original. Keep an eye out!
The story of two computer-savvy teenagers (originally played by Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy) who gain entry into a powerful military weapons program could arguably benefit from an upgrade to account for today’s light-years-ahead technology. Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) was announced as the director of the reboot being set up at MGM back in June 2011, though there’s been no going forward with playing Global Thermo Nuclear War ever since. Given changes in the technological landscape since the original, this remake could actually be poised to do what a remake can do best: reimagine an old scenario through new possibilities.
There are remakes afoot! Make sure to watch the originals first; these were great the first time around!